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Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor

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2 Reviews

Manufacturer: Polar / Type: Heart Rate Monitor Watch

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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      15.07.2013 10:27
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      9 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Polar F6 Sports watch and monitor.

      I love to keep fit & healthy and as well as doing plenty of walking I also visit the gym 3-4 times a week and also ride my bike a fair amount as well. I fill in a daily food diary on an app on my phone called 'My Fitness Pal' and it always asks what exercise you have done and how many calories your burnt whilst doing this. A lot of the exercises I actually didn't have a clue how many calories I had burnt. It was then that I had a browse at different spots watches. I wanted something that was going to tell me how many calories I would be burning during exercise and I thought it would also be good if it also displayed my heart rate too. For my most recent birthday my boyfriend got me this Polar F6 Watch which I was really pleased with and I couldn't wait to try it.

      The Watch
      = = = = = = =
      The watch is by Polar whom are well known for making a large range of sports watches suitable for runners, cyclists and for the gym/basic working out. My boyfriend purchased me the F6 Polar watch which did everything that I wanted it to & a little more which I was impressed by. Although the watch is available in a range of different colours my boyfriend purchased me the Black Diamond version which comes with a black strap. The strap has s good amount of holes in it for the buckle of the watch to fasten it. The buckle is a dark grey colour and is made from metal. It also has Polar engraved on the buckle. The strap to the watch has a slight raised section at the bottom of the strap which hooks into the loop on the watch strap so stop it getting in the way when wearing it.

      The face to the watch is nice and has a silver coloured frame around it which has a lovely pattern on in white and black. It's hard to describe the exact pattern but it's nice and gives a nice finish to the watch. Polar is written on the frame of the watch face is silver. There are various other things written on the frame of the watch, some of these are hard to read due to the pattern on the frame of the clock face. On the left hand side at the top it says 'Light' next to one button and the one below that says 'Back'. On the right hand side of the watch are 3 buttons. The top which says 'Up', the middle says 'OK' and the bottom which says 'Down'. These are self explanatory but I will go into a bit more detail a bit later. The actual watch face is LCD style and has the day and date at the top. In the middle is a picture of something (I can't work out what), but I believe you can change the picture to get it to display your name or something else). On the bottom of the screen is where the time is displayed which can be shown in 12hr or 24hr format, you can choose whichever one you prefer. It also has the seconds as well.

      Price/Availability
      = = = = = = = =
      My boyfriend purchased this for me so I'm not sure how much he paid for it. I believe he got the watch from eBay. I have looked on Amazon for the watch but can't find it so I can only presume that this watch has now been discontinued and has been replaced with a newer model.

      Setting it up
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      You will need to enter the basic settings into the watch. To activate the watch you simply press the 'OK' button twice, this turns the watch on and once the watch is on it cannot be switched off. It will have a welcome message displayed and will then ask you to go through the basic settings. These are easy to do using the buttons on the watch to set the time and date. You will also be asked to enter your weight, height, birthday and sex as well. This again is easy to do by using the buttons on the watch. You have the option of what unit you want things measured in for example metric or imperial. After you have saved the basic settings the watch will go back to time mode. I thought the watch was going to be complicated to set up, how-ever it only took about 5mins to enter all the information and complete the set up.

      Wearing the Watch
      = = = = = = = = = =
      I tend to wear the watch most days (not always with the chest strap as this is inconvenient at work, etc). The watch is really comfortable to wear due to the soft strap. I have quite small wrists and I find the watch has a really amount of holes in which to fasten the watch. I quite often buy watches and the straps are too big for my small wrists. The watch isn't too big and bulky and doesn't feel too tight or loose when wearing it. When wearing the watch casually during the day the time is displayed on it in 24hr format and it also tells you the day and date. This is helpful as my last watch just told me the time rather than the time and the date. The watch is easy to read during the day and all I need to do is take a very quick glance to see what time it is. If you press the top left hand silver button this makes the watch light up so you can see the time in the dark. The light only stays on for a few seconds before going off again. I have only pressed this button once or twice to try it to see what it looks like in the dark. The watch looks quite sporty which is what I like about it. When I'm at the gym I always wear the watch with the chest strap so I can keep record of my gym sessions. Despite using various different equipment at the gym I still find the watch comfortable to wear and it doesn't get in the way or get caught on anything when exercising or using things such as machines and weights. I also find the buttons easy to get to if I need to set/change anything on the watch itself. The first time I wore the watch down the gym I chose the wrong kind of exercise setting for the watch so it kept bleeping at me if my heart rate went over a certain amount. Luckily the bleeps weren't too loud so I was the only one who really noticed this. I would change the setting next time I went to the gym so it wouldn't keep bleeping at me throughout my session.


      Wearing the Transmitter (Chest Strap)
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      You need to wear the transmitter to measure your heart rate. The transmitter has an elastic strap which is adjustable for comfort and good fit. The strap simply clips into the transmitter securely and you can then adjust the fitting of it if you need to. The transmitter should fit snugly and comfortably. I put the strap on just below the chest muscles and buckled the strap to the transmitter so it stayed on. Before this works you need to lift the transmitter off your chest and moisten the two electrodes areas on the back of the transmitter. These should be firmly against the skin and the Polar logo should be central and upright. To record your exercise the transmitter needs to be worn with the wrist watch. You simply need to press ok to start the heart rate measurement. Within about 15 seconds your heart rate should appear on the display. Simply press the ok and record the sessions by selecting start. This will then record your exercise session until you press ok where it will stop again. You can adjust the exercise settings that are on the watch by selecting settings. There are 4 different settings which you can select which include the following:

      Hard - A relatively short exercise at high intensity
      Moderate - Is affective at improving aerobic fitness. It is also recommended for people who exercise regularly.
      Light - Is good for improving health and fitness. It also improves basic endurance and helps you to recover from heavier exercise.
      Basic - Is suitable for aerobic exercise.


      All of the settings have allocated heart rates and whichever setting you choose your watch will bleep when you go over or under the heart rate for that specific setting. You can how-ever turn the sound off which is what I did as the bleeping got rather annoying. During exercise you can change the view to which you prefer which includes the following:

      Exercise - Stopwatch & Heart Rate
      Calories - Calories Expended & Heart Rate
      InZone - This is only viewable when you have set heart rate limits.

      After you have finished exercising you can view a summary of your session which tells you the duration of your exercise, calories burned during exercise and the maximum and average heart rate of the exercise session.

      The first time I wore the chest strap was down the gym. I was a little worried that I would notice the chest strap when wearing it and that it may loosen and fall off, how-ever I was pleased that after about 5mins into my gym session I totally forgot I was wearing it as it didn't feel like I was wearing anything. I tend to wear tight fitting vest tops at the gym and you couldn't even see the chest strap through the top which was good. I did a range of different exercises which included lying on the bench and I still couldn't feel that I had the chest strap on. Throughout my whole sessions at the gym I could see my heart rate which was displayed on the watch. It was good to know this information when doing certain exercises. I like that at the end of each week I get a message picture on the phone which totals up the calories I have burnt and the amount of time exercising. I like to keep a track of this information so it's really handy that it prompts you to look at it.


      Other Features
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      Diary - In the diary you can compare exercise duration and calories in different zones. These are shown in charts and for more information about the charts you can read the manual that comes with the watch.
      Follow Up - Every Sunday at midnight your watch automatically reviews your progress resets the diary and heart rate zone views and saves the diary data to a weekly file. You can check this information easily as an envelope will appear on the screen on the watch. Simply press the button next to it to view all the information.
      Files - Here you can look up exercise information from your 12 most recent exercise sessions.
      Data Transfer - You can transfer data from the watch to your PC, how-ever you need to register to do this.
      Timer
      Alarm
      Water Resistant - 50m (Watch not transmitter)

      Overall Opinion
      = = = = = = = = = =
      Although there are lots of different watches to choose from and I wasn't sure which one to go for, I think my boyfriend did a really good job of choosing one for me as I love it and haven't had any complaints about it. The watch does everything I want it to such as counting calories and also records my heart rate which is really useful to know. The watch is really comfortable to wear and isn't too big and bulky so doesn't get in the way of me working or when I am at the gym. Although I was a little worried about the chest strap at first, this is actually really comfortable and when exercising you don't even notice that it's there. I love the simple design of the watch but I like that it has a nice design on the face of the watch which makes it slightly different looking to other sports watches. I found the watch really easy to set up and I can now do everything off by heart, including changing the exercise settings. The manual that comes with the watch is really helpful, and you should find out everything you need to know in the manual. In the manual it gives you some information on how to clean the transmitter as this can get a little dirty, especially when you have been sweating at the gym. This is a brilliant watch and one that I would definitely recommend.


      (review also on ciao)

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      • More +
        25.06.2010 17:43
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        16 Comments

        Advantages

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        Listen to your heart!

        I wanted to write a cracking review on my new Polar F6 heart rate monitor watch and I hope I covered all its features and its benefits. Before I start to review my watch I have to tell that I ordered the black female version. It is available for men as well; its design is slightly different.


        What is a heart rate monitor?
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        Heart rate monitor (HRM) is a device that makes it possible to measure your heart rate in real time and record it for future study. The first wireless HRM was invented in 1977. It was used to help the Finnish National Cross Country Ski team's training. The Finnish Polar filed its first patent for the wireless HRM in 1979. Polar started to retail the wireless HRM from 1982. From the middle of 1980s it has become popular in other sports circles too.


        Why I bought this watch?
        -----------------------------------
        I desperately want to lose weight. I read hundreds of articles on it and I have to tell you that I am really afraid of the side effects and long time effects of wonder pills so the only two things I believe in are sport and food. My kids are away on holiday so I have loads of time on myself and I wanted to start my weight loss cleverly. I exchanged my sandwich dinner to salad and I swim every day. I needed something to make my exercises more efficient. I read a review on a pedometer (Thanks again VampirePrincessLizzy) and I found it a great idea. I started to look for one on Amazon as I have a treadmill at home and occasionally I exercise on it. After reading the features of different pedometers I saw the photo of Polar F6 watch. I read about it and I really liked it. It was on offer for 51.99 pounds on Amazon which is not cheap but considering all its features I found it good value. I bought it. It arrived in 2 days. First I was a bit disappointed because I thought that the watch will measure my heart rate and there is no need for chest belt. Actually there is a chest belt with a transmitter I have to wear all the time I want to know my heart rate and the lost calories. Okay, I thought I give it a go. I am sensitive to metals, I think not only to nickel but others as well. I can't wear a fashion watch either, so I decided that if I can wear this watch for a night I will keep it. I still have it and I really love it. Do you know why?


        Setup
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        After I opened the black cardboard box I found the watch in it and below the watch there was an instruction booklet and the belt with the transmitter. The watch had a foil on its monitor with an arrow on it showing which button to press.
        As it wasn't a cheap stuff I read the instructions first and then I pushed the button twice as it was recommended. So I activated the watch and it cannot be switched off until the battery lasts. The watch welcomed me which was a surprise. Then asked me some basic settings as date, time, units (metric or imperial) then switched to more sensitive questions like my weight, height, birthday and sex.


        Buttons
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        There are 5 buttons on the watch and it is quite easy to learn their function. The main button is the middle one on the right side. This is the one that activated the watch and this goes into the menu. The top right button is to navigate up in the menu while the right bottom button is to navigate down in the menu. On the left there are only two buttons. The one on the top is for light and locking buttons. The bottom one is to quit from the menus.


        Transmitter
        --------------------
        The transmitter is about 25 cm long, black, made of polyamide. It has similar texture to silicone but a bit harder. In the middle it contains a big polar logo. The transmitter should be worn on your chest. You can fix it with the elastic strap provided with it. The size of the strap provided with the watch is M size which is large enough, but it can be adjusted.
        Attach one end of the transmitter to the elastic strap then try to attach the other one as well. You have to adjust the elastic strap's length to fit you snugly and comfortable. You have to set this once so it is not a big challenge. Before you start exercising don't forget to moist the back side of the transmitter.


        The watch
        --------------
        The watch has a black strap made of polyurethane which is soft enough to wear it all the time. The watch is waterproof for 50 m so you don't have to take it off for a shower or bath. I am really sensitive to metals. For example an earring which is not made of gold causes me itching allergy symptoms in 15 minutes. I have no problems with this watch so I can recommend you even if you are sensitive to metals. The strap has 19 holes on it so I think one of them will fit exactly your wrist.
        I have to admit that this is not a party watch which fits well your little black dress. For those occasions I suggest a fashion watch. It is quite a big one as it has to display loads of information for you. The watch is about 3 cm wide.


        Menu
        --------
        I think we have to get used to the menu of loads of electric gadgets (TV, mobile phone, etc.). I have found the menu of this watch really simple and easy to use. I enter the menu with the middle button on the right.
        The main categories are: Exercise, File and Settings. The Exercise is about measuring your heart rate, lost calories and time records. The File menu stores your records and provides possibility to send them to Polar Personal Trainer website and store them there. The Settings function is for setting the watch, heart rate zones and your personal data.

        EXERCISE: If I want to use this option I have to enter into it with the middle button on the right. I have two options: Start and Settings. If I press the button again it enters into Start (a little arrow shows which option you are standing on) and starts the Own Zone or the preset HR mode. I can always quit with the bottom left button. I use Own Zone which means that the watch sets me my heart rate zone in 3-5 minutes all the time I start to exercise. I have seen already higher and lower values so it really does measuring my actual condition.

        In the settings there are three options: HR alarm, HR limits and HR views. In HR alarm you can set the alarm. It can be turned off, turned on to volume one and volume two. If you choose volume one the watch will beep until you reach the targeted zone. At volume two it beeps even louder. The HR limits offers 3 options: Own Zone, Automatic and Manual. Own zone measures your actual condition and sets your limits. In order to set your own zone you have to start moving slowly, then after a beep sound on your watch switch to a higher speed and continue this until it is set. There will be 5 grades before your own zone is set. It takes 3 to 5 minutes. You can do what you planned to exercise; it is like a warm up. The Automatic function sets your heart rate zones by using the 220-your age rule. The Manual is set by you surprisingly. In Own Zone and Automatic you can choose from hard, moderate, light and basic limits. I use moderate as I am in good condition physically I just have to loose some weight. If you haven't exercised for a while start with light and then switch to moderate. The basic function is suitable for aerobic intensity exercise.
        The HR view offers to options HR and HR%. I like to see the values of my heart rate instead of percentage.


        FILES: You don't have to use this function if you don't want to trail your development. I wanted to so I use it regularly. There are 4 functions within this menu: daily, weekly, totals and send. I use the daily function most often. After I finished my exercise and I exit the menu with the bottom left button I enter here to check my results. I can see how long I swam, what my highest heart rate was and my average heart rate. I can see their values and the percentage as well. It shows me the percentage of fat loss. The harder you exercise the lower the fat rate is because you build muscles. And shows the time spent within the zone. The daily files look like a histogram and the exercises are recorded there in chronological order. The watch can store 12 exercise results but you can upload them easily to Polar Personal Trainer and store them there.
        The weekly view offers the following options: Exe. Count, Exe.time, Calories and HR zones. Actually these are your summarised rates for the week. In order: the number of exercises, the time spent on exercises during the week, the lost calories in the past week and a chart about the time spent in each zone (hard, moderate, light).
        The totals show these results since you activated the watch. I have just reset the total counters so my watch doesn't contain these results any more but I will find it on Polar Personal Trainer anyway.
        The last view is Send. In order to store your results on Internet you need to register on www.polarpersonaltrainer.com page. The registration is quick and easy. Then you have to download a file from www.polar.fi. The name of the programme is Polar WebLink. After you downloaded the file you choose from a list the type of the watch (F6), fill in your user name and password to Polar Personal Trainer and follow the instructions. When I press the send button on the watch my watch starts to emit Morse sounds. I had to set my headset to the computer because the microphone of my laptop wasn't sensitive enough so I used the microphone of the headset and the file transfer was done in about 2 minutes. You don't have to do this if you don't want to, I just love some challenge.

        SETTINGS: This is the easiest function. It offers watch, HR set and user settings. The watch settings cover timer, alarm and time settings. I use the alarm set for Mon-Fri 7 a.m. It has a beeping sound at 7 from Monday to Friday. Usually I don't get up as I am on holiday with no kids around but I will have to get up in two weeks to bring my elder one to the nursery.
        The HR set offers HR alarm and HR view just like under Exercise/Settings menu. The user settings give you an option to change your weight, height, birthday and sex.


        I think despite being a logical menu my description may seem long and confusing. After you start to use the watch it becomes clear. I found it really easy to get used to it and its instruction booklet contains all the details you have to know. I haven't copied the functions and even its structure is a bit different than my review.


        So what are these zones and why are they so important?
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        This heart rate monitor can automatically determine my own safe exercise intensity zone which Polar calls Own Zone. This makes the exercise really individually monitored. The Automatic Zone is calculated with the [220 - your age] formula which is constant even if you have just recovered from flu or the weather changed radically. This heart monitor aims to listen to your body so I think it is a clever solution choosing the Own Zone instead the fix formula.

        Within the Own Zone (and also within Automatic mode) there are four exercise intensities. The hard intensity is for short exercises at high intensity, like a sprint. The zone is 80 to 90% of your maximum heart rate measured during the warm up. The moderate intensity is for people who exercise regularly for improving their performance. This zone is 70 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. The light zone is for improving basic endurance and improving fitness. This zone is 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. Finally the basic mode is good for aerobic intensity exercises like jogging. This zone is 65 to 85% of your maximum heart rate.


        Water resistance and battery
        ------------------------------------
        Polar F6 can be worn when swimming but in order to keep its water resistance it is not allowed pressing buttons under water. It is safe in case of wash splashes, sweat, raindrops, bathing, swimming, and even for skin diving with snorkel (no air tanks). It is not suitable for scuba diving (with air tanks). This information is from the instruction booklet's chart.

        One more thing which is in relationship with water resistance is the change of batteries. In order to keep your watch's water resistance and accuracy of measuring heart rate you have to get the battery changed in a Polar Service Center only. In the service they do a periodic check as well. The watch presents a low battery symbol when only 10-15% battery capacity is left. The transmitter will be replaced by Polar Service when the battery has run out and they recycle the used transmitters.


        Benefits of this HRM watch
        ------------------------------------
        Since I have worn this watch for swimming or walking on my treadmill I have found that I exercise longer. Before I started to use it I swam as long as I got bored. Now I swim until I reach 500 kcal. I take care to swim within the range given by my watch. I like to see the lost calories and my heart rate value so I set my watch this way. There is a little heart near my HR value and an up arrow appears if I have to swim faster and a down arrow appears if I have to slow down to stay within the zone. Under the water beeping is not the best decision as it may disturb others. I found my exercise more effective and in a singe week I lost 2.5 kg only by switching to salad at dinner and swimming until I lose 500 kcal every day. I take my exercises more seriously and as I paid quite a lot for this watch it motivates me for more movement. I can do whatever I want. The aim is to keep my heart rate within the zone. Sounds easy, isn't it?


        Advantages
        ----------------
        By monitoring your heart rate you listen to your body and exercise in your own rhythm. As the watch keeps your records you always challenge yourself to get a better result. It introduces you into effective exercising. It motivates you. Even if you don't exercise every day you have a great watch you can personalise. For example I created my own logo and downloaded it to my watch (for more information about this feature visit www.polar.fi). I like that there is no need for further tools to upload and download information. Both my computer and my watch are able to communicate by sending Morse signs. I found that my treadmill can read the HR signs of the transmitter. This is a bonus.


        Disadvantages
        --------------------
        The elastic strap gets wet in the water so it is not comfortable wearing it after swimming. For those who want to go jogging or cycling after swimming (or other exercise outside water) I recommend buying an additional elastic strap (5.99 pounds on Amazon).
        The battery of the wrist unit can be changed in Polar service only. The battery in average lasts for about 2500 hours which is not too much. 2-4 changes per year. The transmitter unit has to be replaced. I don't know yet the prices but when I had my first changes I will come back and add the prices to my review. I hope I won't have to break the bank.


        My opinion
        ----------------
        I think buying this watch was one of my best decisions. Since I started to exercise with this heart rate monitor I don't have any muscle pain. I can exercise in my own rhythm. The watch beeps (if I set it so) when I am out of the preset zone so everything is given to concentrate on myself, the exercise and my own rhythm. The watch can be personalised by downloading a logo or creating your own logo. Everything is about you and you and you.

        The watch is not cheap as it has serious background and Polar is a very reliable brand. I love that my transmitter's sign can be read by my treadmill as well. I have a Kettler Traveller treadmill and its monitor shows exactly the same HR results like my watch. There is a difference in the calorie calculation though. The treadmill shows about 10% less energy loss.

        Wearing the transmitter was one of the things that draw me back but I have to tell you that after a minute I have to check whether I wear it or not. It is comfortable to wear and your body gets used to it. You have to moisten the back side (the electrodes) of the transmitter before you start exercising.

        I think this HRM watch is suitable for those who have just started exercising like me and even for professionals. Those who need more statistics about their performance should buy a more advanced HRM watch. I think the details my watch presents me about my performance are more than enough for me.

        I wonder if I left out anything, I hope not. I used all the functions of my HRM watch except battery and transmitter change, so if you have any questions about it don't hesitate and drop me a message.

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